Saturday, March 31, 2007

Non Fiction Challenge - the other one

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted - all 6 hours of it.

Heres the official Non Fiction Challenge - it even comes with its own button.

I might as well join this one.

So I will repeat the list of Non fiction Books I'm going to read.

Shakespeare by Another Name: A Biography of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare By Mark Anderson

The Queen's Slave Trader: John Hawkyns, Elizabeth I, and the Trafficking in Human Souls By Nick Hazlewood

A Gentle Madness by Nicholas Basbanes. The first book in the "Trilogy" of Books he wrote about Bibliophiles and Book Collecting.

A Degree of Mastery: A Journey through Book Arts Apprenticeship By Annie Tremmel Wilcox

The Ambassadors: From Ancient Greece to Renaissance Europe,The Men Who Introduced the World to Itself By Jonathan Wright.

You can see the book cover pictures further down on todays posts - I think this is the 6th post today already. LOL

More Challenges - Stacks, Classics and the Chunkster

After some more investigation, I see there have already been several other Challenges this past winter.
The WinterClassics Challenge
From the Stacks Challenge

The Chunkster Challenge.
Which is actually running from January to the end of June. So for the Chunkster Challenge, I'm going to add the following Biography to my List of Books to read - as long as I complete it before June 30. (It has over 600 pages)

Shakespeare by Another Name: A Biography of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare
by: Mark Anderson

Non Fiction Challenge - The Books I plan on reading

This is my 20th Post. I decided it was time to learn how pictures work, so here they are.
These are the 4 books I plan on reading for the Non Fiction Challenge. (see next post down) Starting tomorrow - April 1st.

The Queen's Slave Trader: John Hawkyns, Elizabeth I, and the Trafficking in Human Souls By Nick Hazlewood
This is for the History Genre.

A Gentle Madness by Nicholas Basbanes. The first book in the "Trilogy" of Books he wrote about Bibliophiles and Book Collecting.
This for the Literary Genre.

A Degree of Mastery: A Journey through Book Arts Apprenticeship
By Annie Tremmel Wilcox
This is for the Memoir/Biography Genre.

The Ambassadors: From Ancient Greece to Renaissance Europe,
The Men Who Introduced the World to Itself
By Jonathan Wright
This is for the Travel Genre.

Once Upon a Time and a Non-Fiction Challenge

I've been reading around a few Blogs and I came across the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge. (March 26, 2007)

This is a challenge to read a minimum of 4 books in any of the following genres - Fantasy, Fairytale, Folklore and Mythology. Now I am not a fantasy & fairytale type of reader. I have always preferred facts to fiction. Thats why most of what I read is Non-Fiction.

So how about we do a Non-Fiction Challenge?
Read any four books - one from each of the following genres - between now and the end of Summer (Sept 21st).

Memoirs or Biographical
Literature or Literary
and Travel

If you're interested, leave a comment and a blog link, or list the books you plan to read for this challenge. If you're stuck for ideas - I found an excellent list here.
The Modern Library - 100 Best Non Fiction.
There are actually 2 lists here - one from The Readers and one from the Modern Library Board. There are some great titles on this list.

Emma Darwin's Diaries

Did you know that Emma Darwin, wife of Charles Darwin, wrote diaries and they are now online?
Emma Darwin's Diaries
Here's the
Telegraph Announcement dated March 13th 2007.
And another article as well. Charles & Emma Darwin

Simon Winchester - one of my favourite authors

Got paid on Friday, so I brought some more books. Those 2 I mentioned a few days ago, and the Oxford English Dictionary book. I just could not resist. You should see my wish list at Shelfari. There are about 100 books on that list that I would dearly love to read.

Old Books, Rare Friends
Improper Pursuits
The Professor and the Madman

I've been reading most of Simon Winchester's books ever since I first read Pacific Rising.
Pacific Rising
Simon Winchester
Simon Winchester
Here's an interview about The Professor and the Madman.
And an article about The Map that changed the World
Simon writes mostly non fiction and is always easy & enjoyable to read.

Speaking of Dictionaries, I think I'd like to read about Samuel's Johnson's Dictionary next.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shakespeare and Harper Magazine

I picked up a copy of the April 2007 Harpers Magazine this week. Right now their website is still showing the March issue. Anyway, the April cover has a half page ad that says "How Shakespeare conquered the World" by Jonathan Bate. Its an essay. I have never brought Harper before, but I brought this one because of Shakespeare.

Anyway the essay is called "The Mirror of Life: How Shakespeare conquered the World". It basically speaks about how the Golden era had a number of wellknown playwrites and poets, but why did Shakespeare become the most famous? I mean, I never knew that Edmund Spenser was considered the greatest Elizabethan poet, nor did I know that Ben Jonson wrote and performed plays. I also had no idea that Shakespeare himself was an actor. I did know about Christopher Marlow, but only because he was murdered at a young age.

The essay goes on to mention, " of the ways in which writers endure is through their influence on later writers."

All sorts of interesting characters are mentioned in this essay - including Thomas Betterton, Nicholas Rowe, David Garrick, John Dryden, Margaret Cavendish, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. None of whom I have heard of before.

I'd better start doing some reading.

Blogs, Broken Links and RTF

About yesterdays post, I tried to link to the books, but every time the book sold out, the link got broken. Fixing the links just made things worse - so I'm not going to bother linking to any more books. Does anyone know how I can post on this Blog using plain text and not RTF?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

...hopelessly devoted to you... (the books I mean)

A nice refund check came in today so I am splurging. I am being sensible and putting some of this money towards the credit cards. And some of it has gone on food for the family for the week, and some of it simply HAS to go on books. So I have just spent $60 at bookcloseouts getting the following books.

Every Book its Reader
Casanova Was A Book Lover
A Degree of Mastery
Raising a Reader
So Many Books So Little Time
Into the Antiquities Trade
The Ambassadors
Court Lady & Country Wife
Virgins of Venice

The first five are about books, the 6th book is about an Antiquities Trader and the last 3 are historical biographies. I am so terrible. I didnt mean to spend that much, but these books are so cheap and so irresistable. I'm supposed to be decreasing my credit card debt, not increasing it.

And now I have just found another book I really really want, but I shouldn't get it. I've already spent too much. Old Books, Rare Friends
And I just found another Lady Diana Spencer. This is so interesting. Improper Pursuits

Monday, March 26, 2007

More Shakespeare, but briefly...

Have added some more links to the Shakespeare Sidebar. These include a shop (Shakespeares Den), the plays where they can be read online (Shakespeare Plays Online) and the famous Folger library.

I think the Shakespeare Resource Center looks to be the best source for everything Shakespeare - plays, authorship debate, biography, historical background etc. This site is already linked in the Sidebar under The Authorshop Debate

Cant stop to chat sorry - must get ready for the day job now.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

My views on Shakespeare's authorship part 1

Since I have not actually read anything for or against Shakespeare being the true author, except for the Novel Chasing Shakespeares (which voted for Edward de Vere, earl of Oxford, as being the true author) I havent made up my mind who the author is. I can tell you who I don't think it is, and that is Francis Bacon.

If ciphers were the ONLY way one can determine an author, then all the authors determined by this method, IMO, would be faked. Some years ago, a book called "The Bible Code" was published. I briefly looked through it, but when I saw that several pages were nothing but number grids with certain numbers circled, I put the book down and have never read it to date. I have been of the mind that ciphers are not very accurate because one can make a cipher or a number grid read anything they want it to say. You can choose every second letter, every 3rd letter, every 5th or 15th letter, even every 22nd letter (or any other sequence you like) and you can make the cipher say whatever you want. I do not consider that to be scientific or accurate. The Case for Francis Bacon (Sidebar link) being the playwright depends on ciphers as proof.

Today as I was searching for more websites about the Shakespeare authorship debate, I came across a very nice Q&A (Conversations about Who Wrote Shakespeare in Sidebar) which has some ideas on why de Vere/Oxford is not the author. Unfortunately, IMO there is insufficient proof to rule Oxford out despite this specific conversation saying that it was adequate. This Q&A tends to accept that just because Oxford was not listed as being there, therefore he was NOT there.

As I have been told over and over again, you cannot prove a negative, and just because a persons name is not mentioned on a list - does NOT mean they were NOT there. A name on a list only proves that they were there - which is called positive proof.

I'm sure I will have more to say on the subject of Shakespeares authorship at a later time.

Here is a list of movies based on Shakespeares plays.

The Taming of the Shrew, 1929, starring Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1935, dir. by Max Reinhardt & William Dieterle
Romeo and Juliet, 1935, dir. by George Cukor
As You Like It, 1936, dir. by Paul Czinner
Henry V, 1945, dir. by Lawrence Olivier
Hamlet, 1948, dir. by Lawrence Olivier
Macbeth, 1948, dir. by Orson Welles
Othello, 1952, dir. by Orson Welles
Julius Caesar, 1953, dir. by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Romeo and Juliet, 1954, dir. by Renato Castellani
Richard III, 1955, dir. by Lawrence Olivier
Othello, 1956, dir. by Sergei Jutkevitsh
Forbidden Planet, 1956, dir. by Fred M. Wilcox (based on The Tempest)
Hamlet, 1964, dir. by Grigori Kozintsev (translation by Boris Pasternak)
Falstaff, 1965, dir. by Orson Welles
The Taming of the Shrew, 1967, dir. by Franco Zeffirelli (Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton)
Romeo and Juliet, 1968, dir. by Franco Zeffirelli (Olivia Hussey)
King Lear, 1970, dir. by Peter Brook
Macbeth, 1972, dir. by Roman Polanski
The Tempest, 1982, dir. by Paul Mazursky
Ran , 1985, dir. by Akira Kurosawa (based on King Lear)
King Lear, 1987, dir. by Jean-Luc Godard
Henry V, 1989, dir. by Kenneth Branagh
Hamlet, 1991, dir. by Franco Zeffirelli
Prospero's Books, 1991, dir. by Peter Greenaway
Much Ado about Nothing, 1993, dir. by Kenneth Branagh (Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale)
Othello, 1995, dir. by Oliver Parker
Hamlet, 1996, dir. by Kenneth Branagh
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1996, dir. by Baz Luhrman (Leonardo DiCaprio & Claire Danes)
Twelfth Night, 1996, dir. by Trevor Nunn
Looking for Richard, dir. by Al Pacino, 1996
Shakespeare in Love, 1998, dir. by John Madden (Joseph Fiennes & Gwyneth Paltrow)
10 Things I Hate About You, 1999, dir. by Gil Junger (based on The Taming of the Shrew)

William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, 1999, dir. by Michael Hoffman
Love's Labour Lost, 2000, dir. by Kenneth Branagh
O aka The One, 2001, dir. by Tim Blake Nelson (based on Othello)
The Merchant of Venice, 2004, dir. by Michael Radford (Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Lynn Collins, Joseph Fiennes)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Spot of Shakespeare Spotting

I found a few more new blogs and have added them to the Sidebar.
Three of them I would like to mention.

Biblioaddict because yesterday and today she was reviewing a new book about Shakespeare, called Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt. I need to find more links specifically about Shakespeare and the authorship question.

And BookWorm because Sylvia is a fellow Canadian (even if she does live on the other side of the country). Sylvia also has so much stuff about Great Books (And I am very interested in acquiring a Great books education) and other stuff, I know it's going to take me ages to read everything. Technically I am not a Canadian - yet. I am still a permanent resident, but I do plan on applying for citizenship, when I am eligible to do so.

And lastly Book Chase because he uses the same blog template I do. I mean, there are probably hundreds of blogs here at blogspot that use this template, but Book Chase was the first one I have seen that is specifically a Books blog. Also this one has lots of photos, and even a video, and I am now inspired to learn how to add pictures and other graphics to make my new blog look more interesting.

Who was the real William Shakespeare?

I had a real bad experience with Shakespeare in High School. Apart from seeing the Olivia Hussey film version of Romeo and Juliet, the one and only Shakespeare play I studied during 3 years of English classes was Macbeth. At the same time, I also had a very boring History teacher as well. All she ever did was to hand out purple inked (mimeographed) lists of dates and events and told us to memorise them for the exams. So by the time I left HS, I hated Macbeth, I hated History and I hated Shakespeare. That was over 20 years ago.

I have since discovered the wonders of History. Especially the glorious History of the Elizabethan Golden era, and now I read anything I can, about the people of that era. Which is why I'm happy to read about Shakespeare and Marlowe, but I'm still somewhat reluctant to read the actual plays.

I have of course seen a few Shakespeare plays done as movies over the last 20 years. Movies such as Clair Danes & Leonardo's version of Romeo and Juliet, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington and Emma Thompson in Much Ado about Nothing. And both recent versions of Hamlet - the long one and the short one. Being a visually oriented person, I much prefer the movies to the written script. The visuals and context make it much easier to understand the script.

Without planning to do so, I have recently acquired 3 books about the mysterious identity of William Shakespeare.

A novel called Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith (2003 trade paperback)
A First Edition of Players by Bertram Fields ( 2005 Regan Books)
and the new large Hardback I just picked up for $7
"Shakespeare" by Another Name by Mark Anderson (2005 Gotham Books)

I think I will start collecting books about Shakespeares authorship. And maybe write a bibliography of books supporting and questioning Shakespeares qualifications as a playwright. It's an intriguing subject, and I love mysteries. Especially since I don't remember hearing anything about this controversy back in High School. Do they teach the students these days that Shakespeare may not be who everyone thinks he was? That he may possibly not be the real author? I doubt it. That would be thinking "outside of the box". And schools are not designed for that type of education.

Oh yeah, and I finished reading Sarah's blog today. Ironically, I just found her blog this week, and already she is closing up shop. Today was her last blog entry - she called it her "swan song". Whether or not she comes back to blogging, even she doesn't know. I really enjoyed reading about her book shop over the last 2 years. Good luck Sarah with whatever your next venture may be.

Shelfari versus LibraryThing

I've noticed a number of mentions of LibraryThing while I have been perusing the blogs. I've checked out a few reviews there, but the layout of LT just does not grab me. So I thought I would mention another site for bibliophiles. SHELFARI. The best thing about Shelfari is that it is free. Unlike LT where one has to pay for storing more than 200 books. I have well over 400 books on my shelves at Shelfari. The following link is my Bookshelf at Shelfari.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More thoughts about blogs, books and bookselling

Its almost midnight and I have just spent the last 2 hours reading Sarah's Blog (Sarah's Books Used & Rare - see Sidebar link). Am only half way through, so will read the rest tomorrow. Both Sarah and Ms Ashland run their own used/rare bookshops. Its not for the love of money, but for the love of books.

I think they must be telling me something. I have an awful lot in common with both of them. All 3 of us are women (yes I am female), all 3 of us are married, and all 3 of us love books. Sarah doesnt have kids, Ms Ashland has 4 daughters and I have 1 son.

Before I forget, I would like to mention a well known Book collector. Sir George Grey. What? You never heard of him? No, you probably haven't heard of him. Sir George Grey was the Governor of New Zealand in the 1840's. George was a bit eccentric. He built a wonderful mansion on Kawau Island (Just off the Hibiscus Coast - north of Auckland - visitors are allowed to wander around the gardens and through the Mansion during the summer only) and he stocked the gardens with a menagerie of animals, including peacocks.

Anyway thanks to Steve's comment today, I found a new biography about George's book collections from Oak & Knoll Press.

Kerr, Donald Jackson
Dunedin, New Zealand and New Castle, Delaware, Otago University Press and Oak Knoll Press 2006 6 x 9.25 hardcover 352 pages

And a link about George from the Auckland Public Library.

I must try and see if my parents can get a copy for me since they live in Dunedin.
Silly me, what am I saying? I can pay out $50 to Oak & Knoll. Delaware is not that far from Toronto.
OTOH, I think I'll wait. I'm sure I can pick up a copy for $10 from Bookcloseouts - in 2008.

Wow, people really are reading my blog

I've been busy reading a few other book blogs, following the links from one blog to the next. One blog I found is called Books Found (see the Sidebar) which I thoroughly enjoyed and was compelled to read it from beginning to the present in one sitting. If Ms Ashland had written an actual book, I would not have been able to put it down.

Anyway today I got my first comment. And I found my blog has been mentioned on Philobiblos' blog too. Thank you Jeremy. Please excuse the exitement, but its very exciting to discover that people are actually reading what I write. I'm much more used to email lists and Yahoo groups, so this blogging thing is a totally new experience.

If you haven't already figured out, I live in Toronto, Canada. But I was born and raised in New Zealand, and also lived a few years in Australia and the Solomon Islands. So a few links, and comments, and maybe some books from Oceania, will show up now and then. The first comment I'd like to make is about the Hard to Find Bookshop in Auckland, New Zealand, which I have linked to in the Sidebar. It is (in my opinon) the BEST Antiquarian and second hand bookshop in NZ, if not the entire world. But then I may be a little biased. I have no other antiquarian bookshop experience to compare them to.

I used to spend hours in the Hard to Find Shop - especially on the weekends. I often dropped in every night on my way home from work just to see if anything new and interesting had arrived. And whenever my bookshelves got too crowded, I would pull out those books I had read and didnt really want to keep, and sell them right back to the same HTF shop from which I had purchased them. The week I sold ALL my books back to the Hard to Find shop, because I was moving to Canada - well that was a sad week. I was selling all my furniture, literally everything I owned, except what I could pack into 2 large suitcases and a few boxes. Some of the books that I sold, I now regret doing so. I wish I had kept them.

Nicholas Basbanes & Book Collecting

I found Nick's Book Patience & Fortitude at my Remainder shop several months ago. A Book about Books. I was intrigued. I'd never heard of him before. I also had not realised that collecting books could be such a serious and enjoyable vocation. A short time later, I found another of Nick's books, A Splendour of Letters. Also at the remainder shop - the one that is now closed down.

Then I found his website. (see Links). From that I discovered he has written 4 books, and so far I have 3 of them. Last week I went to Indigos and paid out $30 for a new copy of Nick's first Book, A Gentle Madness. This book was published in 1995, but I have the second edition published in 1999. Nick also writes a column in the Fine Books and Collections Magazine.

I wrote an email to Nick last week, just telling him that I liked his books, that I also collected books, and that I was thinking about maybe opening a shop. I received a reply within 24 hours. Two replies in fact. The first email was nice and chatty and answered my questions. The second email was short and funny. You'll have to forgive the typos in my earlier email, I'm writing before my caffeine has had a chance to kick in. nick. I definitely like this author.

Also on my visit to Indigos, (at the same time I was buying Nick's first book) I found a book on the shelves called Book Row by Marvin Mondlin & Roy Meador. It's all about the Antiquarian booksellers trade in New York City over the last 120 years. It turned out to be a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While Book Row talks about Booksellers in New York City, Nick writes about Book Collectors all over the USA. But sometimes both books have mentioned the same people. Such as Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern from New York City.

New York Times March 24, 2005 Obituary
Leona Rostenberg, a rare-book scholar and dealer who with her partner of 50 years, Madeleine B. Stern, discovered a series of racy novels written by Louisa May Alcott under a pseudonym, died on March 17 at her apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She was 96. [...]

These 2 ladies wrote 2 memoirs. Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion (Doubleday, 1997) and Bookends: Two Women, One Enduring Friendship (Free Press, 2001). I want to read these books as well.

I also want to read the books listed under the heading - Customers who bought this item also bought - on the Book Row link I posted above.

I want to be a Book Collector.
Maybe I already am a collector.
I already have a huge pile of Books.
No rare or old books - I can't afford them.

I want to be like Leona and Madeleine, and discover a long lost Book or Manuscript. I guess I can always dream.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This new source of books is awesome

I got home from work today (same day) and found the new books waiting for me. They took exactly 1 week to arrive. The online invoice said they could take from 1 to 3 weeks. I am very impressed - both with the fast service and the cheap prices. One of these books is a large hardback book. It has a retail price of $45. It cost me just $7 plus tax.

I have also found another new book I want to read. The Book Thief By Travis McDade. A true story about Daniel Spiegelman who stole rare books & manuscripts from the Columbia University Library in New York City. McDade recounts all the sordid elements of this true-crime caper in vivid detail, presenting readers with a retelling of the crimes, dialogue from the court transcripts, and explanations of the legal consequences and intricacies. In addition to the significant, overall legal themes, The Book Thief describes two prison escape attempts, one suicide attempt, a jailed defense lawyer, and the aftermath of this unique and interesting case.

My local remainder outlet has closed up shop

I swung by my local remainder shop on my way to work today - and was shocked to see that it has closed down. No tables, no books, no nothing. I was there just last week buying books. Noone said anything about closing down. But then they were always giving their regular customers (like me) discounts. The shop location was not the best either. Tucked away in a downstairs corner of a mall, with not a lot of foot traffic. It's a pity, because now the nearest bookshop of any type to my workplace is Indigos - the local and largest bookshop for new books (Indigos/Chapters/Coles chain).

However all is not lost. I have discovered a warehouse book outlet called Bookcloseouts where I can buy remainder books at dirt cheap prices. A lot of these books I have also seen at the remainder bookshop - so they probably buy from the same place. At least now I can skip the middleman (or middle shop).

The downside is that I have to purchase my books online and have them mailed to me. I purchased 2 books last week and am now waiting for them to arrive.

As for me opening a remainder bookshop - I wonder if thats now a no-go since a lot of people would prefer to do the same as I did, and buy directly from the source rather than from a shop.

Oh well - you win some, you lose some.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Books I currently own. Some I have read and others I have not yet read

These 15 books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Madeleine Albright, A Twentieth-Century Odyssey by Michael Dobbs

Carolyn 101 by Carolyn Kepcher & Stephen Fenichell - Business Lessons from The Apprentice's Straight Shooter

Cities of Gold by William Hartmenn - A Novel of the Ancient and Modern Southwest

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (This was probably the first book I read that influenced me to think about opening a bookstore)

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles by Susan Nagel - A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin

Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith - A Novel

The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurft

Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent, Lincon & Leigh

How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci by Michael Gelb - Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel

King of the Confessors by Thomas Hoving (This is the book that got me interested in Art History)

Connections by James Burke (It's the little details and accidents of history that turn out to be the real gems)

Contact by Carl Sagan (While the Book was good, the Movie was brilliant)

Bush on the Couch by Justin Franck - Inside the Mind of the President

The Ambassadors' Secret by John North - Holbein and the World of the Renaissance

Here are 16 book that I have not yet read.

On a Grander Scale by Lisa Jardine - The Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren

The Jigsaw Puzzle by Ann Williams

The Dragon Seekers by Christopher McGowan - How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossilists Discovered the Dinosaurs and Paved the Way for Darwin

The Gnostic Discoveries by Marvin Meyer

The Secrets of Judas by James Robinson - The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel

Leonardo da Vinci Flights of the Mind by Charles Nicholl

American Jezebel by Eve LaPlante - The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans

A Pirate of Exquisite Mind by Diana & Michael Preston - Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer, The Life of William Dampier

Kepler's Witch by James Connor - An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother

A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield - Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire

A Benjamin Franklin Reader by Walter Isaacson

The Map That Changed the World by Simon Winchester - William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

God's Secretaries by Adam Nicolson - The Making of the King James Bible

The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson

Players by Bertram Fields - The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare

Alexander the Corrector by Julia Keay - The Tormented Genius who Unwrote the Bible

This list is just in case you like History & Biography and need something to read.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The last 5 books I have read

The last 5 books I have read are as follows.

Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden. Carmen was married to one of Osama Bin Laden's many half brothers. She herself is half Iranian and half Swiss. She had 3 daughters, divorced the Bin Laden connection (before 9-11), and now lives in Switzerland.

The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra. This author is Spanish, and has written a historical novel about Leonardo da Vinci and that well known fresco painting - The Last Supper. The fact that the disciple John is obviously feminine looking, (and that Leonardo does use a female as the model) is not the big secret. The big secret is the order of the disciples in the painting.

In Leonardo's time, each disciple had a temperament assigned to him. The first letters of those temperaments spelled out a word that was heretical and blasphemous in the eyes of the Catholic church.

History on Trial by Deborah Lipstadt. This author is an American Jew. She believes in the Holocaust of World War Two. She accepts that 6 million Jews were gassed by Hitler. David Irving denies that the "holocaust" actually happened. He says a few Jews died in concentration camps - mostly from illnesses like Typhus. Deborah claimed in one of her books that David was a liar. So he sued her for libel & slander. This is the story of the court case - from her point of view.

The Truth about Hillary by Edward Klein. What Hillary knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President. Finally a book that tells the real truth of Hill & Bill's marriage, Bill's sexual appetites and liasons, and why Hill stayed with Bill.

The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent. This is one of the authors who started the original Da Vinci code story. He co-wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail some 25 years ago. This book is Michael Baigent's latest attempt to stir up controversy.

He says he knows that the New Testament was so heavily edited, that the gospels do not tell the full and real story. But there are clues. One of these clues indicates that Jesus was not a rabbi, but a rebel. No less than 2 out of the 12 disciples were zealots. They were Judas Iscariot and Simon the Zealot. Zealots were patriots, almost like rebels, against the Roman occupation.

Baigent also claims that Jesus made a deal with Pontius Pilate to not be crucified. While the New Testament does indicate that Pilate was reluctant to crucify an innocent man, there is nothing to indicate that he made any sort of deal with Jesus.

These papers that Baigent claims are proof that Jesus was a rebel, not a rabbi, are not even in Baigents possession. While he was shown them in a secret meeting, and took a few photos, the papers then disappeared and have not been seen again. So all Baigent has as proof, are the photographs. And despite over 20 years of study in this area, he still has not learnt to read Aramaic or ancient Greek. Therefore he can only accept whatever translation he has been given by someone else.

Introduction to me and my books

I think it's time I joined this Book Blogging phenomenon.

I love reading, have been reading since I was 4 years old. My tastes have settled towards History and Biography, and those are the areas I feel most knowledgeable about. Thats why I called this blog BiblioBiography. I wanted BiblioHistoria, but that was already taken.

I have recently discovered the magazine called Fine Books & Collections Magazine, and have subscribed. Its only $25 for 6 issues per year. A very good price IMO. I used to read Biblio Magazine some years ago, but that magazine seems to have gone out of business.

I have flirted with the idea of owning a bookstore over the past 20 years, but never felt like I knew enough (or had enough cash) to take the plunge. My book collection is increasing rapidly, and I think I need to get rid of some of them. However selling them to another dealer does not appeal to me. They give me their lowest price, and then make a profit when they resell them, while I take a loss. Besides there are not that many second hand dealers in my part of the city.

Most shops around here are remainder shops. In fact most of my book purchases are from remainder shops. Thus most of my books are in good condition. (Please note that when I say good condition - I do not necessarily mean the same high quality one would expect from the Antiquarian Booksellers Society's version of "good condition") I think remainder shops are the best way to go. Good quality of books at very nice prices.

Bookseller Groups
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America ABAA
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Canada ABAC

Rare Book School
Rare Book School Virginia
California Rare Book School

Best websites to buy new and used books

Places to review, catalogue and just enjoy books